Nobody has the right to kill somebody else over art.

As I said on Twitter today, I have nothing against either Islam or Muslims. But neither do I care to be dictated to by murderous religious fanatics.


That would be a picture of Mohammed (he’s not my religion’s prophet), religious figure and founder of Islam, and as the picture suggests the man’s visage has been seen in an artistic context before:

In 1999, Islamic art expert Wijdan Ali wrote a scholarly overview of the Muslim tradition of depicting Mohammed, which can be downloaded here in pdf format. In that essay, Ali demonstrates that the prohibition against depicting Mohammed did not arise until as late as the 16th or 17th century, despite the media’s recent false claims that it has always been forbidden for Muslims to draw Mohammed. Until comparatively recently in Islamic history, it was perfectly common to show Mohammed, either in full (as revealed on this page), or with his face hidden (as shown on the next page). Even after the 17th century, up to modern times, Islamic depictions of Mohammed (especially in Shi’ite areas) continued to be produced.

That passage is from Zombietime, which has made it a point to collect representations of Mohammed by various sources. This particular picture is Persian, from the 15th(?) century AD. And there is no valid reason not to recognize that.

Moe Lane

6 thoughts on “Nobody has the right to kill somebody else over art.”

  1. If it wasn’t art, it would be something else. Terrorists gotta terrorize, it’s their nature.

    1. Precisely.
      Or, if you prefer, which particular “art” caused Sirhan Sirhan to go full-metal-jihadi?

  2. … I have nothing against either Islam or Muslims.

    I do. Islam is false, stupid, harmful, and — not to put too fine a point on it — evil.

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